Rummanah Aasi
  I really enjoyed reading Kimberly Derting's debut novel, The Body Finder, which blends two of my favorite genres: paranormal and mystery. You can read my review of The Body Finder here. I recently finished the second book in the series called Desires of the Dead.

Description: Violet has a special ability. She can find dead bodies that have been murdered, whether the body is an animal or human. She can also sense an "imprint" of the crime on the murderer. After the spine tingling incidents at the school dance that near got her killed, Violet wants to keep her ability a secret, especially from an FBI consultant who finds her and is suddenly interested in her when she leaves an anonymous tip to the police about the location of a body. She also doesn't want to tell anyone about the FBI, although keeping that secret strains her relationship with her adored boyfriend, Jay. Violet even wants to hide the fact that someone is stalking her. What she doesn't know is that the longer she keeps all these secrets hidden, she is getting closer and closer to being in real danger.

Review: We are first introduced to Violet, her lovable and swoony boyfriend Jay, and their families in The Body Finder. You do not have to read The Body Finder before Desires of the Dead. Both novels are stand alone titles with separate stories. Derting provides enough background to new readers without slowing down the story.  
  Desires of the Dead is a page turning, absorbing read that I finished in one sitting. Though not as creepy as the first novel, which included a narration of a serial killer, Desires of the Dead definitely held my attention. Sometimes when I read a book that has a paranormal element to it, I tend to envy the person who has really cool abilities; however, I do not want Violet's ability. Violet can hear echoes of people who have been killed unjustly and they won't leave her alone until they could be laid to rest.
  Unlike The Body Finder, whose mystery kept me on my toes and had me in the edge of my seat, the central mystery of Desires of the Dead is quite predictable but still disturbing. What I liked most about the latest installment of this series is the character and relationship growth between Violet and Jay. Violet wants to keep her ability hidden from those outside of her select few, mainly her family and Jay. After the incidents of the last school dance, she no longer wants to put anyone in danger which makes sense. Though she has known that ability seems to run in her family, she has yet come to terms with it. Is it a gift or a curse? Should she keep it a secret or feel obligated to use it to help others? These are the questions that plague Violet. By her side is Jay, Violet's best friend now turned boyfriend, who wants to keep her safe. Jay is understanding, sweet, funny, and charming. He understands Violet mostly without even communicating with her. He knows what she is feeling and gives her distance if that's what she wants. I thought Derting did a great job in describing the awkwardness of a new relationship between two childhood best friends. Both characters are mature and we aren't smothered with the endless "I can't live without him/her" that we routinely see in teen romances. I loved watching Violet and Jay grow.
   In addition to the great romance, we are also introduced to two new and interesting characters who seem to share a commonality with Violet. I hope to see more of them when the third installment of the Body Finder series is available next year.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and an allusion to sex in the book. Recommended for strong Grade 8 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Clarity by Kim Harrington, Wake series by Lisa McMann, Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
3 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    "Both characters are mature and we aren't smothered with the endless "I can't live without him/her" that we routinely see in teen romances."

    Exactly! I love that about Violet and Jay. They're adorable without being overwhelming and irritating and unbelievable. So glad you enjoyed this one too Rummanah!


  2. Alison Says:

    I enjoyed the first book although didn't love it as much as some. Actually Violet and Jay bugged me a bit for some reason. I can't put my finger on it. I'd like to read this to see if my opinion improves.


  3. Precisely, Jenny. I didn't cringe whenever they appeared like I do with some teen romances.

    Alison: I like the fact that their relationship started out friends first and then slowly deepened and evolved. They are very cute together and believable. Of course I got a little irritated at them but it didn't effect my reading experience. Give a shot. I'll be interested in reading your thoughts. :)


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